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Horses of Hope

Fabric of Love, a painted horse statue that’s part of the Horses of Hope initiative, made its first visit to Hopkins County on June 10.

It was created through the collaboration of two of our high school students with artist Jerielle Hanlon. Camryn LaGrange, a 2022 Madisonville North Hopkins graduate, and Katy Gilbert, who will be a senior at Hopkins County Central, met with Hanlon and came up with a design that’s painted in a quilt-like pattern.

With Horses of Hope, Independence Bank has partnered with LexArts in the creation of three painted horses that are intended to help offer healing for areas of Kentucky affected by the Dec. 10 tornadoes. Fabric of Love, along with the two other horses, will be on display in downtown Lexington beginning in mid-June.

The horses will be auctioned at Keeneland in December in a fund-raising effort to benefit storm relief. Fabric of Love will then return to Hopkins County and be displayed permanently at Independence Bank, 629 E. Center St. The proceeds from Fabric of Love will directly benefit the Dawson Springs softball and baseball fields that were damaged by the storm.

During the event Friday in Madisonville, Hanlon likened the horse to “a love poem.”

“It is like a quilt holding all the pieces together,” she said. “To unify us, to warm us, to remind us of our strengths, to regrow, to rebuild, to appreciate our wildlife and natural spaces, our food, traditions, neighbors, loved ones, celebrations, the inside jokes, and history.”

Lagrange shared her personal view that the most powerful thing about what happened in the aftermath of the storm is how the community came together.

“The quilt on the horse has representations of specific things in our community,” she said. “The horse itself is Hopkins County. I hope every single one of you can find something on it that means something to you.”

The quilt is unfinished, she pointed out.

“That’s because Dawson and our community are not finished rebuilding,” she said. “This is also a reminder that this is not over and it will not be over for a long time. We have to stay together and we have to keep going.”

For more information on the project, go to

Student artists, and teachers talk while looking at horse.Students with teachers and the guiding artist and the horse